Media release: Expanding approaches to diverse recruitment and talent development


CULTURAL organisations across Scotland are today, Thursday 5 December, invited to take action to broaden socio-economic diversity and inclusion in the arts, by hosting paid, year-long creative fellowships, through the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme. 

Thanks to £100,000 funding from The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, bursaries will support early-career development of creative professionals such as artists, curators and producers from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds, across Scotland.

Joan Parr, director of Arts & Engagement, Creative Scotland, said: “Fair access to careers in the arts is one of the most pressing issues facing the creative sector. Providing transformative opportunities, these bursaries go some way to making entry into the arts a level playing field and ensures those with talent, but not financial backing, are given the opportunity to succeed.”

Applications are invited from arts or cultural organisations in Scotland to support fellowship opportunities across all artforms, with specific requests for applications from Scotland-based organisations focused on curatorial practice, music creation and production, Gaelic-focussed performing arts, visual arts and dance, as well as the development of sustainable creative business.

There will also be a theatre fellowship for a Scotland-based design practitioner at a host organisation based elsewhere in the UK.

Previous Scottish host organisations include National Theatre of Scotland, Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre, The Common Guild, Glasgow International and the Royal Lyceum Theatre.

Lilli Geissendorfer, director, Jerwood Arts, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Creative Scotland to support arts organisations to expand their approach to diverse recruitment and talent development.

“Unpaid internships and poor recruitment practices are a barrier which threaten to impact the diversity and vibrancy of our future arts workforce. This programme champions new voices and promotes the potential for positive change.

“Its beneficiaries are the potential arts leaders of the future; those who in turn should be powerful advocates for the cultural change needed to achieve real diversity and inclusion in the arts.”

Image: BRODIE SIM (pictured centre) at previous host organisation, The Common Guild (2016).

Photography: Tine Bek

Notes for editors:

Fund guidance and application forms for prospective organisations to host a Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2020-2022, are available here. The deadline for applications is 5pm, Thursday 30 January 2020.

Following the announcement of Host organisations, Hosts will be recruiting their fellows in May 2020, for a September 2020 start.

To date, the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme has worked with 110 of the UK’s leading arts producers and organisations across art forms to kick-start the careers of 124 talented individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds; in Truro, Wakefield, Belfast, Leeds, London, Margate, Cardiff, Birmingham, Glasgow and beyond.

Critically, it allows organisations to develop new year-long artistic and creative roles which are meaningfully connected to their artistic/cultural leadership.

Full programme evaluation 2017-2019 available here: chrome-extension://oemmndcbldboiebfnladdacbdfmadadm/

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and

Over £583m National Lottery funding has been awarded across Scotland’s arts, screen and creative industries over the last 25 years. Nearly 16,000 individuals, projects and organisations have benefitted from this enabling people and communities to bring their ideas to life. To find out more, visit

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